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University Startups and Spin-Offs: Guide for Entrepreneurs in Academia


University Startups and Spin-Offs teaches university students, researchers, and educators the most effective strategies and tactics for launching their own startups from academic platforms with the backing of school programs, public grants, incubators, seed accelerators, and private partnerships in all parts of the world.

Serial entrepreneur Manuel Stagars advises students, faculty, and researchers how to test their ideas for marketability, how to develop commercial products out of research projects, and how to engage companies and investors with attractive value propositions. The author has seventeen years of experience as startup entrepreneur, founder of seven companies in the United States, Europe, and Japan, consultant to universities on commercializing their research programs, angel investor, and startup mentor. Stagars’ advice is field-tested, battle-hardened, and supported with a wealth of instructive first-hand examples from his international experience.

The author advises academic entrepreneurs to take matters into their own hands instead of relying on the initiative and support of universities and governments. He shows students and researchers how to fit lean startup methods to their existing university ecosystems, leveraging their strengths without getting bogged down in bureaucratic morass. Avoiding theory and jargon, the book focuses on real-world situations, practical steps, checklists, and case studies. University students and researchers will learn the skills they need to become startup entrepreneurs on an academic platform.

The final part of University Startups and Spin-Offs addresses university administrators, educators, technology licensing officers, incubator managers, and government grant officers. It shows them with practical examples from the private and academic sectors how to integrate startups into the fabric of the university, develop a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem for students and researchers, leverage latent network effects, build bridges between scientific research and industries seeking innovative solutions, enhance the public image of the university, and motivate the university’s best and brightest to engage in startup enterprises that will deliver benefits to the university and the public as well as to themselves.

What you’ll learn

  • how to test ideas for marketability
  • how to develop commercial products out of research projects
  • how to engage companies and investors with attractive value propositions
  • how to integrate lean startup methods into existing university ecosystems
  • how to negotiate cultural idiosyncrasies and regulatory barriers in different countries and industries
  • how to leverage latent network effects
  • how to motivate your university’s best and brightest to engage in startup enterprises that will deliver benefits to themselves, the university, and the public

Who this book is for

The primary readership is students and researchers interested in launching their own startup out of a university or research assignment. The secondary readership is staff at universities, government agencies, incubators, and seed accelerators in charge of getting startups off the ground by designing startup programs, administering aid and grants, and coaching young entrepreneurs. The tertiary readership is angel and private equity investors and industry partners.

Table of Contents

  • The Status Quo: How Do Startups Fit Into Universities?
  • The Lean Startup Changed Everything
  • What Does It Mean to Be a Startup Entrepreneur?
  • Engaging Others with Actionable Next Steps
  • Benefits vs. Features
  • Simple Strategies to Get Unstuck
  • Troubleshooting
  • The Financial Model
  • The Legal Setup of Your Startup
  • Meetings and Communication Skills
  • Startup Grants: Can Government Programs Stimulate Entrepreneurship?
  • Venture Capital and Angel Investors
  • Incubators and Accelerators
  • Moving Past the Startup Stage
  • How Do Universities Measure the Impact of Their Research?
  • Why Do Many University Startups Not Take Off?
  • How Universities Can Support Their Startups Today
  • Building a Bridge to the Market
  • Platform Thinking for Startup Success
  • More Platform Objects
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